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K2 Mindbender 88 Alliance Vs. Blizzard Black Pearl 88

A Comprehensive Review of these two 2020 Ladies All-Mountain Skis

K2 Mindbender 88 Alliance Vs. Blizzard Black Pearl 88- A Look At The Pro’s and Con’s Of Both

 

As the holidays of 2018 approached rumors started to swirl that K2 Skis had something psychedelic brewing. When our industry Demo Day rolled around and we had a chance to take out the Mindbenders we were blown away by their performance in a multitude of conditions. But the question we’ve been getting a lot is how it compares to the Black Pearl or Santa Ana (which we’ll do another review on). How does this rookie in the ski world compare to the best selling women’s ski ever? Well lets jump into is shall we. First we’ll go over each skis key features, then we’ll throw them head to head and let you decide who’s the winner.

 

K2 Mindbender Alliance 88 Ti

 

K2 has been struggling to create a ski that worked well for most skier types. Not to say the pinnacle wasn’t a good ski, it just didn’t necessarily perform well in the many “all-Mountain” conditions. The K2 Mindbender is here as a replacement to the Pinnacle and Luv Series. Speaking of Luv series skis- The Alliance series was created as a replacement for that. Why the name change? The women at K2 wanted to create a ski series that better connected with their audience base and resonated with female skiers, so Alliance was born. Though there is a full line-up of waist width options for men and women, the 88 Ti is the best east coast all-mountain option (in our opinion. This would translate to 90 in the men’s version too). The Mindbender 88 Alliance Ti comes with an Aspen Veneer core for it’s wood construction. This is going to be like the 90, but the veneer and sandwiching of the core makes the 88 lighter and easier to turn. Then there’s the Titanal Y-Beam. Think of a tuning fork used to tune pianos. The Y-Beam looks like that, laid into the ski. It makes the Alliance stiff and reliable underfoot while allowing the tip to flex more easily. There’s a carbon spectral braid on top of all this construction which also helps to reduce chatter as well as help power imitation through turns. The sidewall is ABS which is a standard for most ski companies. In the alliance it is oversized. This translates to you can lay the ski all the way over. Want to go from making Slalom turns to jumping into a mogul field and bashing bumps? Yep, this ski is going to do that. Another honorable mention is that K2 has a 2 year warranty on their skis which is awesome!

 

Blizzard Black Pearl 88

 

The Blizzard Black Pearl 88 is undeniably the best selling women’s ski- ever. There’s a reason for that too. Virtually any female skier can take this ski out and have a good day on it. It’s going to do well at most All-Mountain conditions and since it’s not over powering and easy to turn ladies love it. But it’s what’s on the inside that counts right? The Black Pearl is a light ski, made with what Blizzard calls their Lite Wood Core. In the case of the Black Pearl 88, it’s a poplar beech core that’s sandwiched into the Carbon Flipcore WSD. W stands for women’s. No metal here, just good old wood and carbon. This makes the Black Pearl poppy and maneuverable across many conditions. We personally found them to carve exceptionally well too. The topsheet is a duratec composite which helps with scratch resistance. Sidewall will be the same as the Mindebender Alliance 88Ti, made with ABS Sidewall. Since there’s no metal in the Black Pearl so it retails at $600 vs $650 for the Mindbender.

 

Head To Head

 

Head to head you’re getting so skis that are similar, yet different. The Mindbender 88 in our opinion is for more aggressive skiers whereas the Black Pearl is focused on intermediate level skiers. Both the Black Pearl and Mindbender were great carvers and the Black Pearl made longer methodical turns whereas the Mindbender could get laid all the way over and make tight slalom like turns then transition into smooth GS style carves. The Mindbender wasn’t limited to a select level of turning. Whatever your style was it responded. In deeper snow, both felt similar and responded the same, nothing really changed here. Then moguls- This was a game changer between the two. To be honest the Black Pearl just felt sloppy in bumps. It could be my style of bump skiing, or the lack of metal in the ski, whatever the culprit the Black Pearls felt dead and confused on how to respond in bumps. The Mindbender was different. The Mindbender snaped through turns easily and launched you into the next bump almost like you intended to do. The Mindbenders are just fun- and as I’ve been saying around the shop are totally psychedelic.

So my final thoughts? Both skis are great skis. The Black Pearl seems to favor softer conditions and intermediate level skiers more. When the terrain got more aggressive the Black Pearl struggled to keep up. The Mindbender is definitely stiffer and more aggressive than the Black Pearl but that’s not to say a beginner could take it out and not have a good time. The Mindbender is flexible and would be a great ski for someone looking to progress their skills over a long period of time. The Black Pearl is predictable though and is a great value for an All- Mountain Ski that does everything okay.

 

K2 Mindbender 88 Ti Alliance Blizzard Black Pearl 88
Core Wood: Aspen Venner Lite Wood Core
Metal Titanal Y-Beam None
Carbon Carbon Spectral Braid Carbon Flipcor WSD
Topsheet Unsure (looks like Duratec) Duratec
Rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker
Sidewall Oversized ABS Full ABS Sidewall
Warranty 2 Year 1 Year
Price $650 $600

 

* Obviously this Review is extremely biased and based upon my skiing style and the brutally odd East Coast Conditions. Hopefully, we’ll put together a video soon. If you like this head to head style review and want to see more let us know! If this was crap let us know! We are only human after all.


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Top 5 Skis For 2020

Top 5 Skis For 2020- From An East Coast Ski Shops Standpoint

These reviews are based on our on-snow testing, discussions with brand reps, and years of experience.

Top 5 Skis Of 2020

Basin Sports is a ski shop in Killington, Vermont. With access to the largest east coast ski resort at our door, we are able to provide accurate and intelligent insight to the state of the ski industry as it reflects our specific market.

K2 Mindbender Series

You’ve probably heard about the K2 Mindbender and Alliance-benders by now.  The replacement of the Pinnacle and LuvIt Series skis. K2 spent a lot of time testing and designing these skis to make them what they are. They wanted something stiff torsional but soft and floaty too. So what makes the Mindbenders so amazing? They’re incredibly light, yet stiff, yet powerful. The 90ti in particular for both men and women is stiff yet not. In our on snow test the ski was phenomenal on groomers and comfortable and controllable in the bumps. It didn’t feel like you had to overcompensate to make a turn. It didn’t feel too heavy or bulky either. One moment you’d be making beautiful racer carves on groomers, the next you’d be navigating tight New England trees. The Mindbenders want to float and dance over terrain- not bash and brawl their way down the mountain.

The Mindbender Series comes in many lengths. The men’s is 116C, 108Ti, 99Ti, 90Ti, 90C and 85. The Women’s or Alliance Series is available in 115C, 106C, 98Ti, 88Ti, 90C and 85. Yes, the Alliance series is a different mold. Everything is going to be the same about these skis except for the core. The main difference between the two is that the Men’s Mindbenders have full wood cores and the ladies Alliance have Aspen Vanier Core. Yes, that’s still technically wood- it just flexes differently than the full single wood core.

Top 5 Skis Of 2020

We’re on the east coast here, so we’re biased to the 99 and 90Ti (Or 98Ti and 88Ti) options. When we demoed these skis it was hero snow. Or at least what us east coasters call Hero Snow. Firm yet soft groomers, with plenty of packed powder in the trees.  We’ve been slimming down what the optimal waist width is for the East Coast and was planning on ordering more 90’s instead of 99’s. That’s not to say one was better than the other. Both skied excellently. By this point, it’s more personal preference.

We’ve been asked a lot to compare the Mindbenders against the Nordica Enforcers, and we’ll probably end up doing a blog and video comparing the two, but for now, we’ll give you this. The Enforcer Series is a great All-Mountain ski. It does everything well and is incredibly fun to ski on. One main difference between the two is the rocker profile. The Enforcer is going to want to power through everything- we refer to the Enforcer as a brawler ski. It’s fun, enjoyable and strong- but it would rather power into snow than float. The Mindbender is going to feel more familiar to skiers who maybe raced or spent a chunk of time on groomers- expect the Mindbenders allow you to ski off trail comfortable. You can go really fast on the Mindbenders and not feel out of control with twitchy rocker in your tips. The Mindbenders carve, they don’t smear. You know that famous quote, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”? That pretty much sums up the Mindbenders. They float and dance, they didn’t come to muscle their way through. They’re precise, agile and responsive.

Nordica Enforcer 88 & 104

Top 5 Skis Of 2020

Speaking of Nordica, There are some new additions to the Enforcer Family. The Nordica Enforcer 88 and the Enforcer 104. Both skis come with new technology and so far, our staff have been raving about the changes. The 88 was designed with us East Coasters in mind. It’s a true on-piste carver. You can read our review on these skis here. The 104 is a wider option but not overly cumbersome like the 110.

What Makes the 88 So Great? It’s different than it’s big brothers because It has less ABS sidewall. The ABS Sidewall is essentially plastic. Plastic is damp and non-responsive on impact. Nordica reduces the amount of Sidewall and filled it in with more wood to make the ski more snappy and powerful. Then they added a carbon grid to increase snap. It makes the ski much more maneuverable at speed and not quite as unstable.

The 104 has the same technology as the 88 and made many of our employees who own the 100 consider upgrading to the 104. A positive aspect of the 104 is that it offers more drive and stability at speed without increasing extra weight. The 104 allows you to explore more of the mountain with stability and control. One of the positives in the new designs is the power in and out of turns. One thing I’ve found in the older designs is that due to its shape I often feel like I lose a lot of my speed in and out of turns. The 104 certainly does not have that problem. Same goes for the 88. Both are responsive and power out of the turns effortlessly.

These skis are great for one ski quiver shredders or enforcer series collectors. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if the 20/21 series of Enforcers don’t all have the new carbon technology incorporated into their design.

Salomon QST 92

The Salomon QST 92 has got it’s S—t together this year. In it’s first iterations it was one the softer side of all-mountain skis. Now it’s back and in it’s series (so the 92, 99 and 106) have the same technology throughout. But it’s an entirely new ski. So new tip design, new sidewalls and new core construction. I’m generalizing but all three waist widths will be the same construction. We’re digging the 92 because it’s probably the lightest All-Mountain ski that’s isn’t made of foam, fiberglass or unicorn dust. It’s rocker profile would make it great for a east coast skinning ski but also as a weekend warriors ski.

If you ski anything like me you may have thought that the QST was a fun ski but it was a bit soft and chattery on harder snow. Beefed up sidewalls have eliminated this chatter to a minimum and torsionally increased stability in turns. Win, Win!

The carbon, basalt, and flax are blended together in the new models from tip to tail, and there’s an extra layer of flax plus cork tips to optimize dampness at a lower swingweight. This is translated onto the women’s Lux, Lumen series too. The tip shape is new too and this reduced taper. The cork in the tip and tail makes the skis less chattery, and reduces swing weight making turns pretty darn fun. The graphics aren’t half bad either on these skis. Sticking with solid tones and less flair. Mounted up with the oh so toted Salomon Shift Bindings and you’ve got one heck of a ski set-up.

Black Crow Camox & Camox Birdie

We also are going to talk about Black Crow. They’ve been around for a while but really have exploded onto American markets more recently. The Camox is the showcase twin ski and has really stayed tried and true to its roots. It’s a true twin tip ski with classic rocker, camber, rocker profile.  Nothing overly fancy or technical, just the stuff that works- which is why it’s one of their bestselling skis.

But, the Camox is on the heavy side. So this year Black Crows reduced the weight of the ski and shortened the taper without overly changing the performance of the ski on snow. It does have a shorter turn radius- which can just mean it will get edge to edge quicker. An Advantage here is that as a true twin tip ski the Black Crow Camox and Camox Birdie will have an increased playfulness feel on snow. This will make for more a lighter, but tried and true ski that anyone can have fun on.

Atomic Redster X Series

An honorable mention and one ski that’s not really getting a whole lot of attention is the Atomic Redster X series. This skis was redeveloped last season and can be distinguished from its World Cup counterparts by it’s lack of red coloration. We’ve been jokingly calling it the greenster since the 18-19 skis was bright neon green. This year It’s not as bright but still a gunmetal grey with green highlights. Of the Redster X series the one that caught our eye the most was the Atomic Redster X WB (WB= Wide Body). The Redster is a series no F-ing around ski. The Redster X WB is the same nutty ski but minus the servotec. At 75 underfoot (versus 65) the WB is just a bit more forgiving. With true race camber underfoot the Atomic Redster X WB is still an extremely powerful ski. It’s just nicer to play with.

Coming in 152, 160, 168 and 176 you have a few options to choose from. The WB still has the multi-radius sidecut, full sidewall (hence 0/100/0 camber to rocker), Powder Woodcore, Titanium Powered, Structured Topsheet, and World Cup Base Finish. It still has all of those goodies. The reason we’re mentioning this ski is not that we enjoy it (I mean we do, we wouldn’t be writing this review otherwise) but because it enables you to still carve aggressive groomers, but still be able to walk the next day. We will be pushing this ski towards our Ski Bum Race Series competitors who want a fast ski for race day, but a comfortable ski for groomer days.


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2017 K2 ALLUVit 88 Ski Review

The 2017 K2 ALLUVit 88 Ski Review Revolutionizing and Finessing the Women’s Ski Industry

2017 K2 ALLUVit 88 Ski Review

The 2017 K2 ALLUVit 88 Ski is relentless but in a good way. Relentless in the since that you can ski all day with ease. You can navigate variable terrain and feel right at home. For the woman who’s an intermediate to advanced level skier and wants an affordable stick to shred gnar on, well yeah the 2017 K2 ALLUVit 88 is going to rock your socks off.

So let’s get into the nitty gritty right away shall we? The sport of skiing has exploded in popularity in the last 5 years thanks to rockered ski technology. At the forefront of this wave stood K2 and its Women’s ski line. Believe me when I say it but “women’s” skis weren’t always badass and well-constructed as they are today. For a little while companies believed “women’s” skis needed to fit what was thought to be the typical female skier- an intermediate level skier who was cautious and well weak. K2 was NOT one of those companies and the LUV line proves it.

Durable, not to aggressive but not too soft either. Perfect pretty much sums this ski up. The 2017 K2 ALLUVit 88 Ski is for the women looking for adventure. The lady who loves to ski but wants something that does everything. This ski embodies a do all, go everywhere and fit into a few different levels of skier types. In fact, K2 is so anti “Women’s Specific” they even wrote this in their product description on their website.

With the same Bioflex Konic genes as its bigger sisters, the 2017 K2 ALLUVit 88 Ski slims down and bridges the gap between versatile freeride and confident all-mountain skiing. We don’t throw the term “women’s-specific” around lightly – the 2017 K2 ALLUVit 88 Ski was built for the lady shredder who stuns the slopes in deep powder, over fresh cord, and through wily bumps alike.

So the dirty details are this. You’re getting a 88 underfoot ski. This is a good width for the All- Mountain skier that’s mainly east coast based. If you’re out west possibly consider going wider. It’s a flat mount ski so you’re responsible for your binding option. It comes in 156, 163 and 170 which is great if you’re tall like me and ski a 170. The 2017 K2 ALLUVit 88 Ski has K2’s All- Terrain rocker which enables off-piste skiing while maintaining control on the groomers. It’s got a metal laminate in it for snap and control at high speeds and in bumps. That mixed with a Fir- Aspen core makes this ski fast, light and fun. For some reason the Beach Boys Song, Fun, Fun, Fun just popped into my head- fitting for the image this ski portrays.

For the lady looking to get on a new All- Mountain ski, well look no further. Give us a shout if you have any question too, we love to just chat about skis. If you’re already convinced that this is the ski you want, the ski you need well Click Here for free shipping and smiles!



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Gear Sneak Peek: 2017 Women’s Skis

Gear Sneak Peek: 2017 Women’s Skis

It’s been a long time coming and it seems the ski industry has finally figured it out. We present the Gear Sneak Peek: 2017 Women’s Skis complete with women’s skis that have a 169cm or longer length model in their line-up.  For years it was almost impossible to find a women’s ski that was 170 or longer. As a women whose 5’10” it was frustrating. Not all of us are itty bitty. Some of us enjoy a ski that fits our height. Finally, ski manufacturers are getting it and this season the picking is good, very good.

 

2017 Nordica Women's Santa Anna 93 All Mountain Ski

2017 Nordica Santa Ana 93 

Was $749/ Basin Price $649

This ski was a multi- award winner this year and for good reason. It’s a new addition but really it’s a more slimmed down version of the Nordica Enforcer. The 2017 Nordica Santa Ana 93 is available in 153-177 and is marketed towards the aggressive female skier who wants a one ski quiver. Now I’m bias to Nordica, we all have our brands and though I enjoy their skis their not my favorite. That being said, I’m weird, haha. Most ladies love this ski and for good reason. At 169 it’s got a sidecut of 124-93-112. It’s also got a Balsa wood core with a full sheet of titanal. It’s VERY similar to the Nordica Enforcer 93 but the core is different. The Balsa wood is not used in the Enforcer. It’s found in the 2017 Nordica Santa Ana 93 because women respond to ski dampness different than men. We’re not big 200 pound guys, we’re kick ass skier chicks and sometimes having a reliable, yet light core is what we need. So “wahllah” Balsa was used to make the Santa Ana 93 what it is.

Personal Thoughts: To much rocker, if the taper was pushed forward some I think the ski would respond a bit better, especially in sketchy east coast snowpack. For “chundery “spring powder or East Coast Powder Days this ski is an ass kicker.

Shop Tip: Mount +1 for better edge to edge contact.

 

2017 Salomon Women's QST Lumen 99 All Mountain Skis

2017 Salomon QST Lumen 99

Was $725/ Basin Price $599

This ski comes in a 181! But put up next to the Salomon QST 99 (Men’s Version) it’s identical in every way minus the topsheet. It shares the same price too so it’s no surprise this ski is so popular. It looks playful and easygoing but it’s got a whole side to it that you wouldn’t expect. It’s a happy balance of soft and playful to kick- ass hard charging animal. The 99mm waist doesn’t hurt either when it comes to beefing up this ski. There are narrower versions in the line-up but this is a crowd favorite.

Personal Thoughts: I’ve never been a fan of Salomon women’s skis. They were the first to start the women’s specific ski trend, right around the foam core era. They were also one of the first to do away with the lesser quality women’s skis. The QST is a testament to that. Off the wall this ski makes me go wow! I’m quite impressed with it’s construction and layup, to the point where I might own one in the future. It’s a good “affordable” all mountain ski.

Shop Tip: De-tune the tips an extra inch lower so there’s better transition on edge. Consider a Tyrolia AAAttack Binding for an extra low standover height. Go with a 12 or higher for the camming heel to make easy step-in when clicking in.

2016 Atomic Womens Vantage 90 CTI W AA0025812 1

2017 Atomic Vantage 90 W CTI

Was $725/ Basin Price $599

There’s no kidding around with the Vantages. This ski is stable and reliable, especially at high speeds. It’s a high performance annihilator for the chick that absolutely rips down the mountain. Carbon tank mesh inlay with Titanal bridge overlap the 2017 Atomic Vantage 90 W CTI is all there. It’s ironic actually when I think about this ski. It’s ironic because this ski as released last year but didn’t really win any awards until this year. Atomic is one of those companies that is often overlooked in the grand scheme of things so it’s ironic that an unchanged ski from last year to this year is only now just getting recognized for its kick assery and bad-assness. This ski would fit the chick who’s an ex-racer or maybe a free rider, someone who wants something that’s stable at high speeds, that’s the 2017 Atomic Vantage 90 W CTi.

Personal Thoughts: Beefy, almost too beefy for me which is why I went with the 95 C not the 90 CTI. This ski is a crowd favorite and was spotted a lot last season. The perfect amount of rocker too and absolutely blast the crap out of a turn when exiting the transition.

Shop Tip: Great Tele ski!

These are the best well- rounded kind of do anything women ski. It’s not just a carving ski or just a powder ski, it’s a do anything, go anywhere kick a lot of ass ski. Plus, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be able to find all these skis in a 170+ length.


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Salomon Ski Review: Astra & Gemma

Salomon Ski Review Of The Astra & Gemma- Frontside Skis for the Outdoorsy Ladies on the Slopes

New for Salomon this year, the Astra and Gemma bring new levels of exploration to the frontside carver ski for the timid women to the aggressive speed demon cruiser. Out of the Salomon Constellation collection the Gemma and Astra explore all the options for frontside skiing.

 

Salomon Ski Review
2016 Salomon Womens Astra Ski with Bindings

Salomon Astra

If you’re wondering what I mean when I say frontside, I mean a ski that’s mainly sticking to groomers and is shaped directionally instead of twin tipped.  With the Astra you get a narrower waisted option coming in at 78mm underfoot. This allows for precise edge to edge transmission and manageable skis for a novice to intermediate skier. The Salomon Astra is also a system ski which means it comes with a binding, the Lithium 10 ski binding.  Any ski that has a built in rail system incorporated into the design comes with bindings. It doesn’t necessarily make the ski better or worse, it’s just easier to adjust and can be swapped easily if you were to change boots down the line.  With dimensions of 125-78-106 and a 13m turn radius at 161cm, the Salomon Astra makes a great carving ski for the lady who loves to cruise the groomers.  The Astra also comes with a Semi- Sandwich wood core and a Basalt Layer.  Rossignol has been using this concept for a few years now and it’s said that this layer of Basalt helps dampen the ski and allow for a smoother ride. Or so they say, it all comes down to the skier and what they’re looking for. I personally felt a minimal difference with the Basalt layer incorporated into the design. To make this ski women specific Salomon also added there “Control Frame” into the design of the ski which supposedly helps make the ski more manageable.  This again points back to the more timid skier who likes to take their time, the control frame helps stabilize the ski and make it easy to turn, making your time on the slopes enjoyable. Maybe you’re a weekend warrior just like to ski at your own pace, the Salomon Astra is an option you should be considering.

Available in 147,154,161, and 168cm

 

Salomon Ski Review
2016 Salomon Womens Germma Ski With Bindings

Salomon Gemma

Wider than the Astra, the Salomon Gemma offers up the option of venturing off trail every once and a while a possibility.  Coming in at 85mm underfoot, the Salomon Gemma produces a wider platform for the adventure seeking lady out there.  No Basalt layer in this ski, instead an ultra-light woodcore is incorporated to help you fly down the slopes.  But don’t think that removing the Basalt layer makes this ski any less of a power house, in fact it’s listed as stiff or the stiffest option on Salomon’s website. In fact, we’d recommend it to the upper intermediate to advanced skier out there.  And it’s not necessarily groomer specific.  If you felt the urge to jump in the woods or hit the off-piste bumps, the Gemma would be able to carry you through it.  Also a system ski the Salomon Gemma has a Salomon XT10 Binding with a 3-10 DIN range. The Gemma guarantees the most control on multiple snowpack conditions.

Available in 157,163, and 169cm

 


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Salomon Ski Review: Astra & Gemma

Salomon Ski Review Of The Astra & Gemma- Frontside Skis for the Outdoorsy Ladies on the Slopes

New for Salomon this year, the Astra and Gemma bring new levels of exploration to the frontside carver ski for the timid women to the aggressive speed demon cruiser. Out of the Salomon Constellation collection the Gemma and Astra explore all the options for frontside skiing.
 

Salomon Ski Review
2016 Salomon Womens Astra Ski with Bindings

Salomon Astra

If you’re wondering what I mean when I say frontside, I mean a ski that’s mainly sticking to groomers and is shaped directionally instead of twin tipped.  With the Astra you get a narrower waisted option coming in at 78mm underfoot. This allows for precise edge to edge transmission and manageable skis for a novice to intermediate skier. The Salomon Astra is also a system ski which means it comes with a binding, the Lithium 10 ski binding.  Any ski that has a built in rail system incorporated into the design comes with bindings. It doesn’t necessarily make the ski better or worse, it’s just easier to adjust and can be swapped easily if you were to change boots down the line.  With dimensions of 125-78-106 and a 13m turn radius at 161cm, the Salomon Astra makes a great carving ski for the lady who loves to cruise the groomers.  The Astra also comes with a Semi- Sandwich wood core and a Basalt Layer.  Rossignol has been using this concept for a few years now and it’s said that this layer of Basalt helps dampen the ski and allow for a smoother ride. Or so they say, it all comes down to the skier and what they’re looking for. I personally felt a minimal difference with the Basalt layer incorporated into the design. To make this ski women specific Salomon also added there “Control Frame” into the design of the ski which supposedly helps make the ski more manageable.  This again points back to the more timid skier who likes to take their time, the control frame helps stabilize the ski and make it easy to turn, making your time on the slopes enjoyable. Maybe you’re a weekend warrior just like to ski at your own pace, the Salomon Astra is an option you should be considering.
Available in 147,154,161, and 168cm
 

Salomon Ski Review
2016 Salomon Womens Germma Ski With Bindings

Salomon Gemma

Wider than the Astra, the Salomon Gemma offers up the option of venturing off trail every once and a while a possibility.  Coming in at 85mm underfoot, the Salomon Gemma produces a wider platform for the adventure seeking lady out there.  No Basalt layer in this ski, instead an ultra-light woodcore is incorporated to help you fly down the slopes.  But don’t think that removing the Basalt layer makes this ski any less of a power house, in fact it’s listed as stiff or the stiffest option on Salomon’s website. In fact, we’d recommend it to the upper intermediate to advanced skier out there.  And it’s not necessarily groomer specific.  If you felt the urge to jump in the woods or hit the off-piste bumps, the Gemma would be able to carry you through it.  Also a system ski the Salomon Gemma has a Salomon XT10 Binding with a 3-10 DIN range. The Gemma guarantees the most control on multiple snowpack conditions.
Available in 157,163, and 169cm
 


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2016 SIA Sneak Peek

SIA Sneak Peek Get’s Us All Excited

We don’t work in retail for the good hours and good pay. We work in this industry because we love gear, you could even say we’re addicted to it (getting the latest gear for skiing and mountain biking).  Each year the Ski Industry Association holds its biggest annual show in Denver, Colorado where Snowsports vendors swarm to display their newest products for the 2016-2017 ski season. This is how our buyers test gear and decide on what to carry in the upcoming season.  Though only Ski Industry Association members are allowed to attend we felt it was only fair to share our addiction and excitement for next years gear with our fellow winter sports enthusiasts. Some things in this SIA Sneak Peek is carryover into the following season but with a color change.  The most noticeable would the Rossignol ski lineup for next year where they’ve revamped the S series into the S-HD series and added bolder colors. Let us know what you think about the SIA Sneak Peek and what you’re looking most foreward to.


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How To Choose The Right Ski For You

How To Choose The Right Ski For You: A Breakdown Of The Best Ski At Basin Sports In Each Waist Class Specific For Women

Buying skis can be pretty difficult if you don’t know what to look for.  Skis are like shoes, there are different types for different conditions, and often two that share similar traits can be completely different in construction.  So in this blog we outline how to choose the right ski for you and breakdown the best skis available at Basin Sports for women.

Waist Class

Waist Class is used to describe the width of a ski at its narrowest point below your boot. These classes are broken down into groups or sub- classes to categorize certain skis.  Each company does it differently but, we like to use 85mm and under, 85-100mm, and 100mm+ class. If you’re from the older generation of skier and aren’t a millennial you’ll be use to skiing an 85mm and under waisted ski as your everyday quiver.

85mm Waist Skis

Since skiing has developed and grown in popularity so has the waist and shape of skis, making skis in the 85mm and under class not as popular as they once were. 85mm skis are still very effective but, are limited as to what they can ski, conditions wise.  Most skis in this class are going to be on-piste directional skis, with some small exceptions.  There are very few exceptions though and Line is one of them with the Line Soulmate 86 (not 85, I know but 1 millimeter doesn’t make a ton of difference).  If you’re a skier who enjoys skiing hardpack groomers, you’re going to be just fine on a directional ski in this waist class.  The K2 Luvit 76 Ski is a top rated 85mm and under ski and performs well in on- piste conditions too.

K2 Luvit 76 Ski: $499.95

How To Choose The Right Ski For You
2016 K2 LuvIt 76 Skis With Bindings_
  • Beginner to Intermediate Level Ski
  • Moderate sidecut
  • allows you to have solid edge control without being to overboard
  • System Ski (Comes with binding)
  • Marker K2/ ER3 10 (DIN’s to 10)

Line Soulmate 86: $399.95

How To Choose The Right Ski For You
2016 Line Women’s Soulmate 86 Skis
  • One of the narrowest freeride skis on the market (Read our blog on the Evolution of Freeride skiing here)
  • Women specific freeride ski
  • New for 2015-2016 ski season
  • Early rise tip and tail

85mm-100mm

In the 85mm- 100mm ski you start to see a mix of frontside carving skis and freeride twin tip skis. When I first constructed this blog, I had a 95-100mm category but soon realized there aren’t a ton of women specific skis in that range, a few 95mm and then nothing until we get to 100mm.  So I’ve summarized this category to accommodate those lengths.

Many ski companies who have a freeride line and all- mountain line (though read our blog on the evolution of freeride skiing) start their narrowest ski of the collection in this class, and work up in width from there.  For example Rossignol’s S Line starts at 92mm underfoot and works up to 116mm underfoot. Salomon has their Q series which offers many different waist widths in this category.  All with subtle differences in construction.   But the one ski brand who broke the mold this year and is guaranteed to get a ton of attention is Atomic.  The Atomic Vantage W 90Cti and Vantage W 95 are flying off the shelves.  In fact, it’s our best-selling women’s ski so far this season- and for good reason.

Atomic Vantage W 90 Cti:  $599.95

2016 Atomic Vantage 90 W CTI
2016 Atomic Vantage 90 W CTI
  • C= Carbon/ Ti= Titanium or titinal
  • Adapted off the old vantage mold but better
  • Firewall sidewall for efficient vibration absorption
  • 90mm waist and 129mm tip for the freeride, ski everything feeling
  • Carbon Tank Mesh overlay
  • Titanium torsion bridge construction
  • Advanced to Expert skier will love this ski

How To Choose The Right Ski For You

This ski feels like a gazelle outrunning a lion, it’s fast, snappy and holds an edge like a race ski.  Plus, in powder it floats like my powder sticks, I think I’m in love! Ariel Kent- Social Media and Marketing Coordinator

Atomic Vantage W 95: $499.945

How To Choose The Right Ski For You
Atomic Vantage W 95 C
  • No titanium just a carbon tank mesh for snappiness
  • Wider waist width for more float
  • Firewall sidewall to absorb vibrations
  • 132mm tip for playful maneuverability in powder
  • Intermediate to Expert skier will enjoy this ski

How To Choose The Right Ski For You

As a skier who’s been making turns since I was a kid, this ski is a ton of fun.  I’m more on the timid side and like to take my time skiing the mountain, I don’t need to aggressively charge everything, and the 95 W just fits me and my skiing style well.” Christine Torrey, CEO and President

 

100mm and Beyond: Let’s talk Fat Skis

 

Most people nowadays call their 100mm waist ski their all- mountain, everyday cruiser.  It can be true to an extent, but since we’ve outlined some decent skis above that work amazingly well as your everyday ski, we’re going to outline women’s specific powder skis wider than 110mm underfoot.  These skis are powder specific, not all mountain or freeride- just deep day powder hunting skis. The Nordica La Nina is a women specific powder ski boasting a 113mm waist and Nordica’s trademark early rise/ rocker technology. It also has PU stringers for stabilization when you hit the choppy stuff. There’s also the Rossignol Star 7 which boasts a 116mm waist width underfoot.  Rossignol has basically taken the mold used for the Rossignol Super 7 and incorporated women specific features into its design.  Some women’s specific skis will have a mounting point closer to true center to accommodate females center of gravity.

Nordica La Nina: $749.99

2016 Nordica La Nina

  • PU Stringers offer stability and responsiveness
  • 113mm waist width
  • Nordica’s trademark hammerhead rocker technology
  • Easy maneuverability

Rossignol Star 7: $749.95

2016 Rossignol Star 7
2016 Rossignol Star 7
  • Wood Core with air tip (No metal)
  • Light and nimble
  • Powder rocker for deep snow
  • Maneuvers easily in tight east coast trees

The Rossignol Star 7 is Special Order Only, please call us for availability at 802-422-3234


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2016 Atomic Skis

2016 Basin Sports Atomic Ski Line- Up

2016 Basin Sports Atomic Ski Lineup
2016 Atomic Ski Lineup (Cloud 9 not pictured)

2016 Atomic Vantage 100 CTI Ski

Re-designed and better than ever, the 2016 Atomic Vantage 100 CTI is about to take your skiing to the next level.  Crud, Powder, Hardpack, Bumps, Trees, whatever you prefer, this ski can do it all and make you look good doing it.

Available in 172, 180 and 188

  • Newly Redesigned
  • Widest of the Vantage Collection
  • Titanium Backbone 2.0 and Carbon Tank Mesh
  • Firewall to absorb vibrations
  • Power woodcore + All- Mountain Rocker

Specs:

  • Tip: 138 (@ 180cm)
  • Waist: 100 (@ 180cm)
  • Tail: 125 (@ 180cm)
  • Radius: 18m (@ 180cm)
  • Weight 1.95kg per ski (@188cm)

2016 Atomic Vantage 90 CTI Ski

At 90mm underfoot you bet you can ski practically everything on the Atomic Vantage 90 CTI.  90mm underfoot, titanium backbone, some carbon and a whole lot of precision.  From fast hardpack to backcountry powder you bet you can ski all of it with ease.

Available in 169, 176, 184

  • Redesigned into the new Vantage Line
  • Power woodcore
  • Titanium Backbone 2.0 + Carbon Tankmesh
  • Firewall Sidewall

Specs:

  • Tip: 133.5 (@184cm)
  • Waist: 90 (@184cm)
  • Tail: 117 (@184cm)
  • Radius: 17.8m (@184cm)
  • Weight: 1.82 kg per ski (@184cm)
2016 Basin Sports Atomic Ski Lineup
2016 Mens lineup but Atomic.

2016 Atomic Vantage C Skis

Meet the Atomic Vantage C, a 95mm ski with some seriously cool features.  A redesigned version of the Vantage Theory, Atomic has redesigned the mold and quite possibly broken the mold with the better than ever Vantage C. A ski for beginners to advanced skiers.

Available in 162, 170, 178, 186

  • 95mm underfoot
  • No Titanium just Carbon Tank Mesh
  • The perfect combination to do anything and go anywhere

Specs:

  • Tip: 134 (@186cm)
  • Waist: 90 (@186cm)
  • Tail: 121 (@186cm)
  • Radius: 18.9m (@186cm)
  • Weight: 1.85 kg (@186cm)

2016 Atomic Redster

When people comment about how sparks wer flying from your skis because you were going so fast, you don’t have to look at them with a quizzical look.  You can look at them, smile and say, it’s because I’m on a pair of Atomic Redsters.

Available in 172 and 184

  • Race Specific
  • Doubledeck 3.0 means advanced shock absorption
  • RAMP Tech, this allows the ski to come around a turn quicker
  • Tapered sidewall

Specs:

  • Tip: 115 (@172cm)
  • Waist: 71 (@172cm)
  • Tail: 102 (@172cm)
  • Radius: 17m (@ 178cm)
  • Weight: 2.68kg (@178cm)

Features:

  • Doubledeck 3.0
  • RAMP Tech
  • Tapered Sidewall
  • Power Woodcore
  • Titanium Powered

Womens Skis:

2016 Atomic Women’s Vantage C W Ski

For the lady who likes to finish her run with the guys lagging behind, look no further than the Atomic Vantage C W. The Vantage C W crushes trail and doesn’t leave you tired at the bottom, but rather wanting to go again.

Available in 154, 162

  • Widest of the Women’s Vantage Collection
  • Light woodcore for the powder hunting
  • Carbon Tank Mesh for for stability
  • All- Mountain Rocker

Specs:

  • Tip: 131(@162cm)
  • Waist: 95 (@162cm)
  • Tail: 116.5 (@162cm)
  • Radius: 16.8m (@170cm)
  • Weight: 1.67kg (@170)

2016 Atomic Women’s Vantage 90 CTI  W Ski

2016 Basin Sports Atomic Skis
2016 Atomic Women’s Ski Lineup

The Atomic Women’s Vantage 90 CTI ski, is a progressive, adaptable, high performance ski for the lady who rips better than the boys.  Snappy, yet supple and fun all over the mountain you won’t want to hit the slopes without it.

Available in 153, 161, 169

  • Titanium backbone and Carbon Tank Mesh
  • Firewall sidewall
  • Light woodcore

Specs:

  • Tip: 130 (@169cm)
  • Waist: 90 (@169cm)
  • Tail: 114(@169cm)
  • Radius: 16m (@169cm)
  • Weight: 1.6kg (@169cm)

2016 Atomic Women’s Eleven XT Ski

Finally, a women’s specific race ski that performs like a top of the line men’s ski should.  Gain that extra second on the race hill on a pair of Atomic Eleven XT Skis.  A top of the line ski for the avid female ski racer.

Available in 155 and 162

  • Race Specific for Women
  • 95% camber contact
  • Similar to the Redster
  • Titanium Stbilizer

Specs:

  • Tip: 121.5 (@162cm)
  • Waist: 71 (@162cm)
  • Tail: 104 (@162cm)
  • Radius: 13m (@162cm)
  • Weight: 1.86kg (@162cm)

This is a system ski that comes with Atomic XT 10 Ti Bindings

2016 Atomic Women’s Cloud Nine Ski

Performance for all women, that’s the idea behind the Atomic Cloud Nine Ski.  Favoring the hardpark, the Cloud Nine is a great intermediate skiers carving quiver.  Narrow enough to lay on edge but wide enough to manage mixed conditions the Cloud Nine is worth it.

Available in 142, 149 and 156

  • Favours hardpack
  • Intermediate skier carving quiver
  • Densolite Core
  • Step down Sidewall
  • Titanium Stabilizer

Specs:

  • Tip: 127.5 (@ 156cm)
  • Waist: 74 (@ 156cm)
  • Tail: 104 (@ 156cm)
  • Radius: 11m (@ 156cm)
  • Weight: 17.1kg (@ 156cm)

This is a system ski that comes with Atomic Lithium 10 Ti Bindings

Kids Skis:

2016 Atomic Junior Bent Chetler Mini Ski

2016 Basin Sports Atomic Ski Lineup
Our Junior selection of Atomic Skis

No friends on a powder day isn’t just a term for adults with the Atomic Bent Chetler Mini, the little rippers can shred the waist deep freshies too.  90mm waist width and powder rocker allows the ski to maneuver easily through white wonderlands with ease.

Available in 133, 143

  • Powder slayer for kids
  • Downplayed widths, but same shape to that of the Bent Chetler
  • Powder Rocker + Step down Sidewall

Specs:

  • Tip: 124 (@143cm)
  • Waist: 90 (@143cm)
  • Tail: 115.5 (@143cm)
  • Radius: 12m (@143cm)
  • Weight:1.25kg (@143cm)

2016 Atomic Junior Redster Jr Edge Ski

Like its big brother, the Atomic Redster Junior Edge Ski is going to carry your little guy down the race course with ease and effortlessness.  Solid edge grip and solid construction, it’s hard to be disappointed with the Atomic Redster Junior.

Available in 115, 120, 125, 130

  • For up and coming young racers
  • 65mm waist
  • Full cap Sidewall
  • Densolite Core

Specs:

  • Tip: 110 (@130cm)
  • Waist: 65 (@130cm)
  • Tail: 93 (@130cm)
  • Radius:11m (@140cm)
  • Weight: 1.27kg (@ 140cm)

This is a system ski that comes with Atomic XTE 7 Bindings

So if we’ve peaked your interest, you should give us a call or check us out online, 802-422-3234,www.basinshopping.com

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